90 minutes from Milan – Champions League Semi-final 2nd leg Preview

Four teams remain in the competition with 90 minutes still to play before we find out who will compete for the title in Milan. Very little separates the sides in both ties and we are in for some cracking football over the coming week.

Bayern Munich vs Atletico Madrid (0-1 agg)

Saul dances past Bayern’s defence before firing Atletico ahead.

A Saul Niguez slalom solo run is all that separates Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich. Atletico made the most of home advantage last Wednesday with the Vincente Calderon as vocal as ever. As many predicted Diego Simeone’s side played extremely defensively looking to hit Bayern on a counter attack. The piece of individual skill produced by Saul was worthy of winning a match but the Rojiblancos sat back in the second half which saw the Germans come alive. David Alaba, Arturo Vidal and Medhi Benatia all had chances to draw the sides level but Jan Oblak wasn’t beaten in the Atletico goal. Pep Guardiola’s side are formidable at home and an early goal tomorrow would set the game up for a fascinating finale. Guardiola was criticized for benching Thomas Muller in the first leg leaving the German very little time to make an impact. Bayern will have to attack from the first minute to the last to beat Atletico’s defence which will be strengthened by the return of captain Diego Godin. Can Pep led Bayern to yet another final or will Simeone rally his troops for another charge at the title? All will be revealed tomorrow night.

Real Madrid vs Manchester City (0-0 agg)

Pepe hart
Joe Hart prevents Pepe from giving Real a vital away goal.

Manchester City failed to capitalize on a weakened Real Madrid last Tuesday when the Citizens welcomed Los Blancos to the Etihad. It was a game of two halves with City dominating the first before Real took control in the second. Man City can thank goalkeeper Joe Hart for pulling off a number of fine save last week to prevent the Spaniards from pulling ahead. City are full of belief heading into the second leg confident of pulling off a massive upset. Manuel Pellegrini’s decision to rest key players backfired at the weekend losing 4-2 to Southampton. It’s clear the Champions League is City’s main target this season but they face a well drilled Real side. Zinedine Zidane saw his side comeback from two goals down in the last round at the Santiago Bernebau but that comeback was thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese winger missed the first leg but returned to training on Sunday. It is unknown if he will feature on Wednesday night but his absence along with that of striker Karim Benzema will certainly dent the Real attack. Will a blue moon rise in Europe or will Real book their spot in Milan?

90 minutes of football is all that separates four sides from a place in club football’s most coveted final.

 

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